The majority of police misconduct complaints filed with the Civilian Complaint Review Board, an independent city agency that assesses claims of police misconduct, pertain to incidents that allegedly took place late on a Friday night or overnight Saturday into early Sunday morning, according to a new data visualization published this afternoon. As for the nature of those complaints, new graphs and tables show how many force allegations have pertained to a pointed gun versus a chokehold in recent years, and how many offensive language allegations have pertained to race versus gender or sexual orientation.
The CCRB today launched a new website that allows civilians to scroll through dozens of data visualizations of 192,000 police misconduct allegations filed over the last decade. And while some graphs—like the one that shows a steady decline in CCRB complaints received—visualize data that has already been widely reported, the Data Transparency Initiative (DTI) offers a clearer picture than was previously available of the race, age and gender of New Yorkers filing CCRB complaints, and the nature of said complaints.
One graph (embedded below) shows that more than half of the alleged victims in CCRB complaints are black, and a quarter are Hispanic. Another shows that so far in 2016, 825 black New Yorkers have filed CCRB complaints pertaining to an arrest, compared to 134 white New Yorkers.
A spokesperson for the CCRB said on Tuesday that the maps will be updated regularly, and described them as an improvement over the monthly, semi-annual, and annual reports already suppled online. (The CCRB does so-called "issue-based" reports as well—most recently on LGBTQ complainants—but historically only once or twice a year.)
The CCRB has also loaded up demographic data on the police officers accused of misconduct: 43% of them have some college study but no degree, it turns out, and 52% of them are white.
The CCRB also joined Twitter today—the organization's first tweet pertains to the DTI—indicating an overall push to get CCRB data circulating on social media (each graph and table in the DTI has an embed function).
The data builds on the CCRB's existing Complaint Activity Map, which launched in 2014 and shows the total number of complaints per NYPD precinct, filtered by type and by either by month or year, stretching back to 2014.
"I think it's good to promote transparency within the agency and an ability to be outside of the agency looking in," an anonymous CCRB investigator told us at the time (he wasn't authorized to speak on the new mapping tool). "But aggregating all the data, it is not going to tell us what we don't already know. For example, that the 75th precinct has the most complaints."
"CCRB's new website provides access to data while being interactive and easy to navigate,"
stated CCRB Chair Maya Wiley on Tuesday. "The new data-driven site enhances transparency and accountability, thereby strengthening public trust."
If you have thoughts on the depth and breadth of the latest data visualization tools, you can submit them to the CCRB here.